Delivery Rate Versus Throughput

Try this:

Order a meal via the drive through of a McDonald’s restaurant…note of the start time the moment you place your order … and the end time the moment you get your order (the delivery point). That is the Lead Time. End to end. In this example, say 5 minutes.

Assume, at that time, that they (Macdonald’s service providers) have 5 work orders in process (WIP).

Delivery Rate ((DR) = WIP divided by Lead Time (LT)

DR = 5 orders / 5 minutes

DR = 1 order / minute

The term Throughput (TP) is used instead of Delivery Rate (DR) if the end of the process under consideration is not the delivery point. You are measuring the rate of which work flows through from a process state to the next process state (i.e. to do, doing, done) using two observed values: 1) the WIP in that state and 2) the time it takes from that state to the next (this time is called the Cycle Time (CT)). You may measure throughput of a state and its adjoining states, together.

TP = WIP / CT

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